Yale University received its largest gift in more than two decades Monday, a $20-million donation from the heirs of a Texas oil baron to establish a school to study, research and preserve the environment.
The gift to establish the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies was the first in a series to be made by the Bass family of Ft. Worth, said Yale President Benno C. Schmidt Jr.
The gift to establish the biospheric studies institute was presented to Schmidt by Edward P. Bass, a great-nephew of legendary oil baron Sid Richardson, who helped start production from the Texas oil fields in the 1930s.
Bass is chairman of Space Biospheres Ventures, the developer of Biosphere II, a major research and development project in closed system ecology near Tucson.
The Bass Foundation was set up in 1945 in Texas to support the arts and cultural foundations along with conservation projects.